WASHINGTON, DC, November 28, 2017 - NCSEJ denounces the perpetuation of the virulently anti-Semitic myth of ritual murder in Russia.
On Monday, November 27, Marina Molodtsova, an official with the Russian Ministry of Justice and a special investigator on a government committee to investigate the 1918 murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family, reiterated scurrilous and false claims that Jews killed the family in a ritual murder. She stated the committee plans to investigate the murder of the Russian royal family as such. A Russian Orthodox bishop, Father Tikhon Shevkunov, also voiced his belief in the claims.
The myth of ritual murder, or blood libel, has been used to persecute and commit violence against Jews for centuries, particularly in Eastern Europe. The 1913 trial of Medel Beilis, wrongfully accused of committing ritual murder against Ukrainian Andrei Yushchinsky in Kyiv, sparked international outcry.
NCSEJ calls on Molodtsova and Father Shevkunov to retract their statements and apologize for their comments. NCSEJ also calls on the Russian government to disassociate itself from those who perpetuate such antiquated and deeply offensive anti-Semitic myths. A Russian government institution should not pursue an investigation that raises the possibility of ritual murder ever having occurred.
At a time when anti-Semitism is spreading around the world at an alarming rate, public officials in all countries need to be at the forefront of combating anti-Semitism. NCSEJ stands with Russian Jewish organizations and leaders in denouncing these ritual murder claims.
For more information, please contact NCSEJ CEO Mark B. Levin at MLevin@ncsej.org or at (202) 898-2500.